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Jun 16, 2011

Cabinet does not support $14 Million Fresh Catch loan from S.S.B.

Nature Fresh Belize Limited has taken a thrashing in the media over a fourteen point nine million dollar loan that the investment committee of the Social Security Board is recommending to the Board. The company is owned by the Mena group, which also owned and operated Fresh Catch that went into receivership in July 2010. Nature Fresh broke its silence today and issued a press release on the adverse reaction coming from many quarters.  The company says that Fresh Catch is situated in La Democracia, a “economically depressed part of the country” and that it went into receiver because FirstCaribbean International Bank refused to restructure the debts with a loan approved by the S.S.B. in 2010. But according to Nature Fresh, the buyout agreement that has been negotiated reduces the debt burden on the company. The release assures the public that the S.S.B. conducted extensive due diligence to ensure that it was financially sound investment. The loan was approved at eight percent interest over ten years, which Nature Fresh points out is a better return than five point five percent the funds would earn in bank deposits. The release ends with a note that in 2003 Fresh Catch received a loan from the S.S.B., which has been fully repaid.  On Tuesday, Cabinet said it did not support the multi-million dollar loan but in the same breath made the point that the S.S.B. has autonomy and does not act at the behest of cabinet.

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13 Responses for “Cabinet does not support $14 Million Fresh Catch loan from S.S.B.”

  1. Victoria says:

    So in Belize if you go bankrupt, one year after you are qualified for 14mil, INTERESTING!!!!!!!!!!! but in america and other countries if you file bankruptcy it affects you for approx 7years+. I don’t know how these people can not pay their debts and then get mega millions again, POLITICS dictate everything, nothing is done on a rational basis

  2. Rod says:

    Why does this not surprise me this is why one of the udp own people killed himself because they did not help him when he was in trouble this pm only helps himself and his family.

  3. James says:

    Stop play wid people money SSB; same thing the former government did and they are now history;

  4. Cheerie Bear says:

    If SSB says that there is more than adequate collateral for this loan, then one would ask, why isn’t the bank considering further financing the project…??? Am sure the bank has more expertise in due diligence in loan proposals that SSB, which should be an insurance for us workers, not bankers…

  5. belizeanabroad says:

    $14 Million for Fresh Catch and god know how much else for BEL. SSB seems to have all this money to invest away and yet cant give consideration for raising benefits for policy holders and SSB beneficiaries…sadly Belize has fast become and Illiberal Democracy.

  6. Disappointed says:

    Loans are approved if you agree to follow some direction of the lender since they now have some interest in the collateral. I believe they should not only restructure the loan but restructure the management. The business is feasible but can the current management team mange the company in a profitable manner? That should be the question, if this will create jobs which are badly needed you cannot just say NO to a company that given a second chance can be good for the community, don’t continue to be so narrow minded people think beyond your nose and politics. We all run into difficulty and deserve a second chance.

  7. O.Walk observer says:

    This entire deal really stinks and sucks; how can the SSB even think of risking people’s money this way?? If they have so much extra money why not raise employees salary and people’s benefits or claims and pensions. How can they lend money to someone to buy back from your own self; sounds rediculous but that is what this will do. The investment committee should be vanished if they go thru with this and shame to hear that this was initiated by Melvin Hulse. Let them go to a bank.

  8. Chance says:

    PERHAPS IT IS A GOOD TIME TO CHECK UP ON THE NEWLY ACQUIRED ASSETS OF THE BOARD MEMBERS THAT ARE IN FAVOUR OF HAVING GRANTING THIS LOAN.

    I CAN BET THAT EACH OF THEM WERE PAID OFF. THIS REALLY DISGUSTS ME AS SOCIAL SECURITY FUNDS SHOULD BE SACRED.

  9. Consciousness says:

    IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF SSB ARE GETTING A HEFTY CUT OF THE 14.9 MILLION…THIS PIE OF 14M+ IS TO SHARE AMONG THE ELITE OF THE SSB..WHILE THE POOR CONTINUES TO GET POORER AND FORGET!!

    UPRISE PEOPLE..WAKE UP…..PEOPLE…REVOLT AGANIST THESE INJUSTICES…IT IS THE HARD WORKING BELIZEANS THAT WILL PAY FOR THE MENA´S BANKCRUPCY IN 2 YRS FROM TODAY…THEY ARE THEIVES!!! THIS IS THE 2ND TIME MENA…DECLARES HIS COMPANY BANKRUPT..HE KNOW THE STRATEGY TO THIEF GOOD MONEY.

  10. ned says:

    Most of these comments are very uninformed and ignorant. I am wondering do we want any investment in Belize? Are we doing just fine as is, according to the comments one would think that we don’t need more jobs and foreign exchange.

  11. subKonshus says:

    Typical UDP anti-Belizean Government…they have a huge problem supporting this initiative which will create jobs and stimulate the local economy of La Democracia which will have a positive effect on the overall economy on a national scale. The government spend too much time in destroying and keeping down the Belizean people that they have no time for creative and innovative thinking. Can anyone think of any enterprise-level industry or company that got started under this administration? I bet we can full a garbage back with names of those that have downsized or closed down under this “genius and transparent” UDP government…

  12. I Have Awaken says:

    I loved the press release the Mena family made; after that sob story we should give them the money and add a few more million, cause their sob story got me all toasty inside and have convinced me 1000%.

    Ned, the SSB is issuing loan based solely on these people’s connections and it is purely self interest, conflict of interest, nepotism and yet another 15Mil of Belizeans money will be fleeced. If this is the case that SSB actually thinks this is s sound investment how come they don’t offer these extremely sweet interests rates to other businesses throughout this country, don’t you think that will help the economy as well, instead of what is going on now and this is businesses closing down left to right; or are we continuing the status quo of only those who are connected and privilege? These are huge decisions, my friend, and these decisions set precedents and this move is simply the continuation of nepotism in this country. nothing more nothing less. You have Belizeans suffering right now, enslaved to banks, paying 15% – 17% on home and commercial loans, most are simply barely surviving, these people ran their business into the ground and now they are being considered to be given OUR money, after that fact, to buy out their own business and not only that get an extremely lucrative 8% and you don’t want people to be pissed off about this?

  13. maggie says:

    Kudos to NFBL. Best place to hide your Ponzi Scheme is in plain sight.

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